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Sept. 2, 2015
Mrs. Bernella DeLaMora Named Rural Community College Alliance Trustee of the Year
WELDON, N.C. – Mrs. Bernella DeLaMora, former chair of the Halifax Community College Board of Trustees, has been named the 2015 Trustee of the Year by the Rural Community College Alliance. Dr. Ervin V. Griffin, Sr., President/CEO of HCC and Ms. Kimberly Mack, Executive Assistant to the President nominated Ms. DeLaMora for the award because of 17 years of service to Halifax Community College and the numerous contributions she made during her tenure.

Dr. Randy Smith, President of the Rural Community College Alliance (RCCA), stated that this prestigious national award is a way to honor the outstanding accomplishments and commitment of trustees who serve our rural communities. "We are so pleased to honor Trustee DeLaMora as our National Trustee of the Year. Her commitment and service is a tremendous example to all of our rural colleges nationwide. I congratulate Trustee DeLaMora and Halifax Community College on their amazing accomplishments and the outstanding service they provide to all of their students, citizens and stakeholders. Halifax Community College is truly an example of an outstanding rural college and they should be very proud of their accomplishments and service."

"I am very excited and could not wait to tell her that she had won the Trustee of the Year Award from RCCA" said President Griffin. I enthusiastically supported her nominations for the Rural Community College Alliance Trustee of the Year . She has served on the Halifax Community College (HCC) Board of Trustees from January 31, 1995 to June 30, 2000 and from November 1, 2003 to August 25, 2015. From August 27, 2013 to August 25, 2015, she was Chair of the Board of Trustees. During Ms. DeLaMora"s tenure as chair, she made history when she became the first Native American to serve as chair of a community college board in the State of North Carolina, which was confirmed by the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs. Prior to serving as chair, Ms. DelaMora was vice chair for 3 years with the HCC Board of Trustees.

After reading her nomination, we were impressed by Trustee DeLaMora's long term commitment to the college and the community said Smith. "It is very rare to find this level of long term service. Her dedication to the college, community and to the success of students is unprecedented and worthy of this national recognition, he said."

During her 17 years as a member of the Board of Trustees, she supported HCC in numerous ways. Mrs. DeLaMora was instrumental in establishing our annual Native American Heritage celebration at HCC, which began in November 2009. The celebration is an educational program that includes Native American demonstrations, dance, jewelry making, food tasting, and recognizing Native American Achievements. The program is open to the community. At the November 2013 Native American Heritage Month celebration, HCC received a proclamation from North Carolina Governor Pat McCory that recognized our unique celebration. The proclamation was presented at the 2013 Native American Heritage program by Mr. Gregory Richardson, Executive Director of the North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs on behalf of the governor.

Mrs. DeLaMora was very surprised and thankful for the nomination and appreciated the recognition of her service by the Rural Community College Alliance. "I am excited and thank God for the many opportunities to serve my community" she said. Mrs. DeLaMora will receive the Trustee of the Year Award at the annual meeting of the Rural Community College Alliance September 22-24, 2015 in Reno, Nevada.

The Rural Community College Alliance advances rural America through an active program of advocacy, convening stakeholders, leveraging resources, and as a clearinghouse for best practices and research. America's 600 rural community and tribal colleges provide opportunities in place, celebrating doors they alone open. They open doors, change lives, and lift rural America.

At present, there are no federal programs that specifically cite rural community colleges in statute. Addressing the invisibility of rural community colleges in policymaking circles is a major reason for our organization to exist.

The contributions of community colleges to rural America has only been studied in depth over the past two decades. According to the 2010 Carnegie Basic Classification, 64% of all public two-year colleges serve rural communities. These institutions serve about 37% of all U.S. community college enrollments nationwide.
Mrs. Bernella DeLaMora
Halifax Community College's Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., dbarnes-rhoades128@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239